The 7-2-13 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. HOT LINE: Two Buyer-Clients Interested in Same Property?
3. HOT LINE: “Coming Soon” Signs?
4. HOT LINE: Guidelines on Use of “Nanny Cams”?
5. New TN Laws Take Effect on July 1!
6. Mortgage Rates Spiked Last Week
7. TN Broker Pleads Guilty…
8. TAR’s Membership Numbers
9. Register NOW for Destin!
10. Jumbo Loans Making a Comeback
11. USEFUL LINKS


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

Save time! Save money! Online CE Course Promotion for July: Enroll in any online CE Shop courses during the month of July and save 20%! Enter JULY15 at checkout to receive your discount. Enroll at: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/

GRI Courses start up again in August and September! To see the full year’s schedule, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!


2. HOT LINE: Two Buyer-Clients Interested in Same Property?

QUESTION: I have two (2) buyers that are looking at houses in the same price range. Is it okay to show both buyers the same property, even if I have an offer from one of the buyers to put on said property? How should I proceed?

ANSWER: It has been a while since we addressed this situation; this must be sign that the market is improving!

Having two buyers who both present offers on the same property can be a dangerous proposition for an agent. It is permitted, as long as both buyers sign a statement which states that they understand that you are working with both buyers and that they are both submitting offers on the same property. HOWEVER, this opens you up to the real possibility that one of them could claim inappropriate behavior on your part, especially if one of these buyers is successful. Therefore, if both buyers want to make an offer I would recommend that you have another agent in your office work with one of the buyers while you work with the other.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


3. HOT LINE: “Coming Soon” Signs?

QUESTION: Is it legal for an agent who does not have a listing agreement signed to put a “Coming Soon” sign in the yard?

ANSWER: First, pursuant to TREC Rule 1260-2-.12(2)(c), “No licensee shall post a sign in any location advertising property for sale without written authorization from the owner of the advertised property or the owner’s agent.” Therefore, the agent must have written permission of the seller to place a sign in the yard. If the sign is a “Coming Soon” sign, then the agent still must have the permission of the seller to do so.

You will need to check with your local MLS to determine whether they have any rules concerning “Coming Soon” listings and/or signs. Bear in mind that a listing agreement is not required for a “Coming Soon” sign. It only requires written permission of the seller. In addition, this sign should not be on the property for an extended period of time. This would be both misleading and ineffective for the seller.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


4. HOT LINE: Guidelines on Use of “Nanny Cams”?

QUESTION: When can “nanny cams” may be used by a seller and what should Realtors do, if anything, in the event they become aware of the unauthorized use of nanny cams?

ANSWER: We are not aware of this issue being directly addressed by the court system as it pertains to listings and real estate agents. Sellers should ALWAYS consult with their attorney to determine whether this is permissible. However, there are several things that concern us from an agent perspective.

First, if the video has audio, then this could violate confidentiality and/or expectations of privacy. Buyers often discuss the home and/or terms with their agents while in the home, believing that they are alone. If there is undisclosed audio, the buyer could be disseminating confidential information without knowledge. If there is audio, then we would recommend that it be disclosed. This could be done by stating that there is a fully operational video/audio security system which is operational when the owners are not home. Given the advance in technology, it may be a wise idea to always advise buyers that there is a possibility that they are being recorded and to discuss the home after they have left.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


5. New TN Laws Take Effect on July 1!

Each year, July 1st marks an important date for Tennessee government as new laws take effect. Among the highlights include:

GUNS IN PARKINGS LOTS: Allows people with handgun carry permits to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked.

LANDLORD AND TENANT: Authorizes landlords pursuant to the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act to terminate rental agreements within 14 days of providing written notice to the tenant after the premises or unit is destroyed or damaged by fire or casualty.

FOOD TAX: Lowers the state sales tax on groceries from 5.25 percent to 5 percent.

A full list is available here:
http://www.capitol.tn.gov/legislation/publications/effective%207_1_2013.pdf


6. Mortgage Rates Spiked Last Week

The 30-year mortgage rate rose half a percentage point this past week to 4.46 percent, according to Freddie Mac. Rates crossed the 4 percent mark for the first time since March 2012, and the weekly percentage increase was the largest in three decades. The spike comes after recent comments by senior Federal Reserve officials on when the central bank will begin to scale back its bond-buying program.

As another sign of increased stability in the real estate market, the mortgage delinquency rate in May of this year marked the lowest level since May 2008, according to Lender Processing Services.


7. TN Broker Pleads Guilty…

There’s a lesson here for EVERYONE to take your fiduciary responsibilities seriously, to be good stewards of escrow deposits, and to act with integrity in all of your dealings! The following story, summarized from an article in the THE TENNESSEAN, is a sad one.

Last week, a real estate broker in middle Tennessee (whose license has been terminated) pleaded guilty to wire fraud and now faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The case involved acceptance of a $200,000 deposit for a parcel of commercial property that she received but did not keep in trust, instead using up to $170,000 of that amount for her personal accounts. She will be sentenced in September. To read more, go HERE.

2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the REALTOR Code of Ethics! Let’s live it!


8. TAR’s Membership Numbers

TAR’s statewide membership at the beginning of July was just over 19,000 …it’s highest point in our recovery from the recession. Prior to the onset of the recession, the TAR membership had reached approximately 29,500.


9. Register NOW for Destin!

Register for the 2013 TAR Annual Convention (Sept. 18-20) in Destin, Florida and enjoy GREAT education featuring a selection of national speakers, as well as a beautiful beach, wonderful events, area golf, and a chance to network with other Tennessee Realtors! Learn how to be more productive and successful in a beautiful setting!

With the revival of a healthy real estate market, this whould be the PERFECT WAY to reward your own hard work this year! For more information or to register, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/convention/


10. Jumbo Loans Making a Comeback

From the WALL STREET JOURNAL:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Despite a recent sharp rise in mortgage rates, “jumbo” loans are becoming easier to get. That is good news for high-end home buyers and those seeking to refinance larger mortgages.

Jumbo loans are those considered too big – larger than $417,000 in most parts of the country and $625,500 in high-cost areas – to get government backing. Lenders originated $54 billion in such mortgages in the first quarter of 2013, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry newsletter, up from $47 billion during the same period a year earlier.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.


11. USEFUL LINKS

To access current and past TAR DIGESTS: http://www.tardigest.com

Follow TAR on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/tnaor

TAR’s LinkedIn page: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=852077&trk=hb_side_g

TAR’s page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question: http://tnrealtors.com/services-support/legal-ethics-hotline/

For CE classroom courses around the state, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/realtor-courses/

For online CE courses, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/online-courses/

Tennessee Real Estate Commission: http://tn.gov/regboards/trec/

To check your CE credits on file with TREC, go to: http://verify.tn.gov